Storrington air pollution: Call for A27 improvements

Heavy  traffic in Storrington. Photo: Derek Martin ENGPPP00320130213095401
Heavy traffic in Storrington. Photo: Derek Martin ENGPPP00320130213095401

A call has gone out for Government money to be diverted into improving the A27 to help combat air pollution in Storrington.

Horsham District Councillor Philip Circus has slammed a “hideous waste of money” on the high-speed HS2 rail project saying that cash should be used instead on urgent infrastructure, including upgrading the A27.

He said he hoped a change in Government would bring it about.

Mr Circus, cabinet member for the environment, said: “The so-called ‘northern powerhouse’ is all very well, but the south east is the engine of the UK economy and local business is saying loud and clear that they need improved east to west communications, particularly an up-graded A27.

“We will continue to lobby for A27 improvements whilst looking to see whether we at Horsham District Council can do anything further to mitigate the current unsatisfactory situation.”

Mr Circus spoke out following new concerns raised over pollution in traffic-choked Storrington - already acknowledged as being among the worst affected areas in Britain.

Residents have taken to social media with many describing air quality in the village as ‘shocking.’

Some say that windows in properties in the School Hill area are frequently covered in ‘black soot.’ Others say ‘the fumes are terrible.’

The village has suffered high levels of pollution for more than 20 years and was last year said to have even poorer air quality than London.

Now, say residents: ‘It’s time something was done.’

Mr Circus said he was ‘very sympathetic’ to poor air quality in both Storrington and Cowfold. He said Horsham District Council had “researched many possible ways of alleviating the air quality problems.

“These included investigating possible tree planting through the village and restricting access to certain types of vehicle which were considered heavy polluters.

“Practical problems prevented both ideas going forward. However, we have had some success in diverting heavy lorries away from the centre of Storrington.

“That said, we will make no major step forward until we can get significant improvements to the A27 so that there is no longer any advantage in taking a detour through Storrington.”